By Opinion, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo, Miss.
Nov. 15–As the debate about whether and how to change the U.S. health care system rages on, I seem to see more and more advertising of individual health insurance plans.
To need individual health insurance has always seemed a scary place to be.
The reasons? First, individual health insurance generally provides a very narrow range of coverages. Second, people pay significantly more for individual coverage than an employer pays to cover an individual in a group. And perhaps most important, exclusions for pre-existing conditions can defeat the purpose of buying health insurance at all.
Many young, healthy people who could afford to buy health insurance choose not to do so. Nevertheless, if they suffer hospitalization as the result of a serious traffic accident or a sudden illness requiring hospitalization, the extremely high cost of a hospital stay is unlikely to make them rethink that decision.
For those who realize the risk of not being covered, paying premiums — even high individual insurance policy rates — might still be a savings over large medical bills or ongoing treatments for lengthy illnesses.